The Library of Congress > Chronicling America > The daily Gate City and constitution-Democrat.

Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1777-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities external link and the Library of Congress. Learn more

The daily Gate City and constitution-Democrat. : (Keokuk, Iowa) 1916-1922
Alternative Titles:
  • Daily Gate City
  • Keokuk daily Gate City
Place of publication:
Keokuk, Iowa
Geographic coverage:
Gate City Co.
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 122, no. 80 (Apr. 3, 1916)-v. 135, no. 88 (Oct. 13, 1922).
Daily (except Sunday)
  • English
  • Iowa--Keokuk.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01206704
  • Keokuk (Iowa)--Newspapers.
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • July 4, 1921 and Jan. 2, 1922 issues not published.
sn 87057262
Preceding Titles:
Succeeding Titles:
Related Links:
View complete holdings information
First Issue Last Issue

The daily Gate City and constitution-Democrat. April 3, 1916 , Image 1


Calendar View

All front pages

First Issue  |  Last Issue

The Daily Gate City and The Daily Gate City and Constitution-Democrat

Located at the confluence of the Des Moines and Mississippi rivers, Keokuk is one of two county seats in Lee County and one of the oldest communities in Iowa. It began as a trading post in the 1820s and evolved into a settlement, village, and city over the next 20 years. It is unknown why it was named for the legendary Sauk chief, but the settlement became known as Keokuk shortly after the conclusion of Blackhawk’s War in 1832. It was incorporated in December 1847.

The Daily Gate City was not the first newspaper in Keokuk. That distinction belonged to the Iowa Argus and Lee County Advertiser, a Democratic paper founded by the first state auditor, William Pattee, in 1846. The following spring, in May 1847, brothers John W. and Robert B. Ogden started the Keokuk Register as an alternative voice in support of the Whig Party. In 1849, this paper was merged with the Des Moines Valley Whig, which had been established at Keosauqua in July 1846 by James Bruen Howell and James H. Cowles. This merged publication became the Keokuk Daily Gate City, which has been published by the Gate City Publishing Company since 1855.

The history of the Daily Gate City is closely intertwined with the lives and careers of James Bruen Howell and Samuel Mercer Clark. Howell was one of the founders and an early editor of the paper. An intensely political figure, Howell worked tirelessly to advance the cause of the Republican Party in Iowa and across the nation. He vigorously opposed slavery and secession and used his paper to rally his readers to the Union cause. Howell was rewarded for his service with appointments as the Keokuk Postmaster (1861-66), a U.S. Senator (1870-71), and as one of three judges on the Court of Southern Claims (1871-80).

Samuel Mercer Clark served as editor of the Daily Gate City for more than three decades, from 1869 until his death in 1900. Like Howell, Clark was a political figure and edited the paper accordingly. Clark also served a term as Keokuk postmaster (1879-85). He was also an active member and president of the Keokuk Board of Education (1879-94). Clark remained engaged as editor until his election to the U.S. Congress in 1894. He served two terms, but declined to run again in 1898. Clark returned to his editorial duties in 1899, but passed away in August 1900 at the age of 57.

In the following years, the Daily Gate City continued to expand. In 1916, it merged with the Keokuk Constitution-Democrat to form the Keokuk Daily Gate City and Constitution-Democrat. From 1922 to 1940, the name of the paper was changed back to the Daily Gate City. It reverted back to the combined title from 1940 to 1957, before returning once again to the Daily Gate City, the title under which it continues to publish today.

Provided by: State Historical Society of Iowa